Brandon Brooks Celebrated Extension with Dogs and TV
After signing a four-year contract extension that will keep him with the Eagles through the 2024 season and made him the highest paid guard in the National Football League, Brandon Brooks did what he always does when he leaves the team’s training facility.
“I just went home hung out with my dogs, watched TV,” said Brooks on Wednesday, two days after agreeing to a $54.2 million deal that guarantees him $30 million.
This is the third professional contract for Brooks, an accomplishment in its own right considering some NFL players have a hard time getting to a second contract, let alone a third.
Brooks said the extension had been in the works for some time, but let his agent handle it.
“I’m in season, so the contract was great and all this other stuff around me is great, but right now it really is (about) the Patriots.”
The New England Patriots will be in town Sunday in a rematch of Super Bowl LII, which was played on Feb. 4, 2018.
Brooks was named recipient of the Eagles 2019 Ed Block Courage Award, which honors those National Football League players who exemplify commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. Brooks was selected in a vote by his teammates.
“I was stoked when I heard (about the extension),” said quarterback Carson Wentz. “Brandon’s an awesome, awesome teammate, awesome guy, a good friend and heckuva player. He’s always rock solid over there at right guard, does so many things well. I was super excited to know he will be here a while with me. He’s a huge piece of that puzzle up front.”
Brooks’ story is rather remarkable.
He learned how to deal with suffocating anxiety that would often times leave him vomiting on game days to the point where he called in sick on the day of two games in 2016. It was his first season with the Eagles after they had signed the former third-round draft pick away from the Houston Texans during free agency.
In a 2018 playoff game against the New Orleans Saints, Brooks tore his Achilles, but took less than eight months to recover and return to the lineup in time for this year’s season opener against the Washington Redskins.
“This guy, since the day he walked in the door, he's been nothing but a pro, been a great teammate,” said head coach Doug Pederson. “I'm obviously thrilled to have him a part of the Eagles family for a while. He battled through that injury this off-season, got himself ready to play. Just shows the character of Brandon, the type of person he is, the type of player he is and I'm just so excited for he and his family. Just solidifies our offensive line moving forward.”
While the injury is in the past, Brooks admitted he will never be able to put behind him the anxiety. He said, however, that he is better equipped to handle it.
“I still fight through it,” said Brooks. “I don’t know if it will ever be under control but as time goes on I’ve been able to manage it better, understanding there are certain situations where I walk into a situation where it will just come on.
“When the anxiety stuff happened, I was like, ‘Now that I know what it is, I can figure it out.’ There wasn’t a moment in my mind of, ‘Will I overcome this?’ Same thing with the Achilles; tore the Achilles, was going to do rehab, grind it out, yeah. The end goal is to always come through it.”
Brooks, 30, will likely assume the leadership void on the offensive line once left tackle Jason Peters calls it a career, which will likely happen following this season with rookie Andre Dillard already showing over the past three-plus games Peters has been out injured that he is ready to step into the Hall of Famer’s shoes.
“I’ve never been a rah-rah, in your face type of leader,” said Brooks. “I just try to lead by example. I think the best way to lead guys is not necessarily bark and scream at them or point to the direction. I think it’s best to lead in that direction with what you want everybody else doing. For me, attacking rehab or attacking practice or the way I do things every day is kind of how I lead.”
Brooks will now have an opportunity to lead for the next five years.